By Rachel Weston ~
January always holds the promise of new beginnings. A cleaner home and lifestyle are often goals. Last year, the country went wild watching a new show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,’ on Netflix. After reading the Japanese organization expert’s books a few years ago, I successfully used her techniques for my clothes and linen closet. I just binge-watched the series and was inspired to up my tidying game further as I saw how she guided families with young children, downsizers, a widow and newlyweds through her method.
No matter what stage you are in life; you can always benefit from better organization. Unless you are about to move to a new home, this task may not seem like a top priority or frankly any fun. It can be emotional as you sift through your belongings. Don’t feel pressured by anyone else about what to keep or not keep. It is important to me to pass usable items on to others so I’ve selected some area nonprofits to pass on what I no longer need.
In the bedroom
Kondo suggests pulling all of your clothes out of the closets and drawers, piling them up on the bed and assess each piece not only for fit and function but more importantly; ask if it sparks joy for you. It sounds silly at first but once you get the hang of the process; it is easy to express gratitude for items that just aren’t for you anymore and send them on their way. Office appropriate items from my closet will make their way to Dress for Success Central Jersey. Others will be donated to a local nonprofit such as The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Thrift & Consignment Shop in Manasquan.
An unexpected benefit is the space gained by folding garments using Kondo’s method. I find I really enjoy the act of folding and seeing everything in our dressers and closets lined up neatly and color-coordinated. Getting dressed is like shopping now.
In the bathroom
Discard any lotions, potions and makeup that are dried up or out of date. Towels in good condition and unused toiletries can be donated to Lunch Break in Red Bank. Linens may also be donated to the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown.
In the kitchen
Pull out everything, give it a good wipe down and assess with a critical eye. As your diet changed in recent years, you may have a stash of products you no longer eat or items you don’t really enjoy. Unopened food within their expiration dates can be donated to Fulfill in Neptune which distributes donations to food pantries in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Pots, pans, dishes, small appliances and gadgets you no longer use can be donated to Coastal Habitat for Humanity in Asbury Park. Once you’ve eliminated what you no longer need, think about grouping similar items together. For example, all of my coffee, cocoa and tea ingredients and tools are all in one area instead of three.